BREAKING: WSL CEO Calls It, As Performance Levels Improve We’ll Add More Women To The Tour
EVENT // 2018 CORONA PRO J-BAY
A lot has been happening for the world’s peak surfing body this week. Between failed live streams to the equality issues, their PR team have been working overtime. All while one of the emotionally super-charged events at J-Bay kicks off.
The event is historic this year, with the women being invited to compete at the infamous break that has, to be honest looking like it’s probably got a bigger shark population than Margaret River. But there are other issues looming.
Mainly, the pay parity and equality for women in sports thing. You may have read Lucy Small’s opinion piece earlier in the week that addressed every aspect of what is currently happening and our position on it. And just a couple of days following, Patti Pannicia was the keynote speaker at the launch of the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center, Women Making Waves exhibit where she brought to light some of the really heavy situations she, and the first women of the world tour faced.
Last night as the women kicked off their first World Championship Tour event at J-Bay, the World Surf League CEO Sophie Goldschmidt spoke with host Joe Turpel on the broadcast. They addressed their new partnership with Facebook and the troubles with the streaming and how they will learn from their mistakes. Right after another streaming issue. Furthermore, they picked up conversation about the women’s pay parity. If you didn’t catch it Sophie summarises the ‘great work’ the WSL have been doing over the last couple of years to include more events for the women and potentially add more women to the roster.
“We’re incredibly proud of what we do for the women and their broadcast.” She said. “What amazing athletes. And their performance levels go from strength to strength. I think we feel very good about the process in which we handle prize money. We refer to it as pay parity. Still, at the moment, there are a different number of women competing to men on tour, so proportionally that’s how we adjust the prize money, so we feel that’s very fair and I feel very comfortable with that position… We take it very seriously.
“Our investment in the women’s sport has been fantastic over 150% increase, and all the extra resources we’re putting into it, bringing them to J-Bay and making sure they can surf as many of the great locations and breaks around the world as possible. We’re proud of what we do and keep pushing it.
“Hopefully, as performance levels improve we can add more women surfers to the tour. It’s not a question of if, it’s when. Ultimately we can have the same number of men and women competing. At the moment the depth isn’t there and we want to make sure we maintain the level and standards of the top product.”
So there you have it. From the top. The goal is established and the reasoning communicated. But what do you think? Are there enough women to have equal competitors or is that not even the question. Tell us what you think below or anonymously email and let us know.
Women’s Corona Open J-Bay Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 13.03, Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.90, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.70
Heat 2: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 15.43, Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.83, Nicole Pallet (ZAF) 4.37
Heat 3: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 15.04, Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.50, Lakey Peterson (USA) 10.93
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.24, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.67, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 8.90
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 16.37, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 16.27, Keely Andrew (AUS) 14.40
Heat 6: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.77, Caroline Marks (USA) 11.90, Coco Ho (HAW) 7.43
Women’s Corona Open J-Bay Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) def. Silvana Lima (BRA) INJ
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 15.50 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.10
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.47 def. Nicole Pallet (ZAF) 4.93
Heat 4: Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.67 def. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 12.26
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.47 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 8.26
Heat 6: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.00 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 10.33
Women’s Corona Open J-Bay Round 3 Matchups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Carissa Moore (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
Heat 2: Lakey Peterson (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Caroline Marks (USA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)